Spider-Man is apparently officially out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and now the directors of the latest Avengers movies have spoken about the decision. Speaking to the Toronto Sun, directors Anthony and Joe Russo commented on one of the biggest off-screen superhero movie storylines of 2019.
Anthony Russo commented that the “marriage” between Sony–which holds the movie rights to Spider-Man–and Disney was not built to last.
“We had a wonderful experience with that and I think audiences really appreciated that marriage. But we know how hard that marriage was to make in the first place, so the fact that the marriage fell apart isn’t really that surprising to me and Joe,” he said.
Anthony Russo added that is was an “extremely long and hard process” to get Spider-Man into the MCU in Captain America: Civil War, which was his first appearance. Spider-Man would go on to appear in the MCU movies Avengers Infinity War and Avengers Endgame, as well as his own movies Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Joe Russo, meanwhile, said the relationship between Disney and Sony was “a tenuous, fraught union throughout the whole process.” Marvel boss Kevin Feige was at the heart of the Spider-Man deal, and he was also working with Sony as a producer on their Spider-Man movies. That won’t happen in the future, however, and Joe Russo thinks it is a “tragic mistake” on Sony’s part.
“But, I will say, stepping back and trying to be objective as possible, that I think it’s a tragic mistake on Sony’s part to think that they can replicate Kevin’s penchant for telling incredible stories and the amazing success he has had over the years. I think it’s a big mistake,” he said.
Feige previously talked about the break-up between Marvel and Sony, saying, “We got to make five films within the MCU with Spider-Man: two standalone films and three with the Avengers. It was a dream that I never thought would happen. It was never meant to last forever. We knew there was a finite amount of time that we’d be able to do this, and we told the story we wanted to tell, and I’ll always be thankful for that.”
Even with Spider-Man no longer in the MCU, Disney will continue to benefit from Spider-Man as it currently receives 100% of merchandise sales from Spider-Man.
In other news, just this weekend, Feige revealed a never-before-seen Iron Man deleted scene that references Spider-Man and X-Men, suggesting Marvel wanted them in the MCU from the beginning.